Ruby Tubes?

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by Wolf Child, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Wolf Child

    Wolf Child Banned

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    I re-tubed my Atomic Reactor 18w 1x12 practice amp a month ago and haven't been thrilled with the tone. I thought maybe with some fine tuning of my modeler settings I'd get my tone back. No luck.

    Today, I got a little suspicious and pulled the back off. I specifically asked for JJ EL84's but instead they slipped in RUBY TUBES.

    I called the amp shop and they offered to correct it for free but tried making the case of why I should keep the Ruby's.

    Ultimately if the amp doesn't sound good to me, that's all that matters but I would like to know if anyone has had good experiences with these tubes in a different application. The amp shop tech swears by them.
     
  2. drewbertca

    drewbertca V.I.P. Member

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    I have Ruby Tubes stock in my Peavey Windsor - I think they are the weak link in this amp....from what I hear the Ruby EL34s are harsh and brittle sounding......I don't suspect that their other tubes are much better
     
  3. IndianScout

    IndianScout V.I.P. Member

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    I have Ruby's in my Valveking, they sound fine..
     
  4. Wolf Child

    Wolf Child Banned

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    They made my amp sound lifeless. Someone once used the term, "sounds like a cardboard box", that's what comes to mind.

    My original worn out tubes had more life.
     
  5. stryker59

    stryker59 Senior Member

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    take it back and have them put the jj's in....if nothing else for the fact that you specified the jj's and got rubys. ive had no experience w/ rubys but i have jj's in my amps and they rock!!
     
  6. overdriver

    overdriver Banned

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    Ruby does not make tubes they are relabled whatever some are in fact JJ telsa. most are Made in China I think. Can ya read any other manufacture on the Rubies. If made in China certianly not JJs so seeing as the place is going to make it right why worry.
     
  7. Wolf Child

    Wolf Child Banned

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    Not worried, just wondering if the tech was sincerely talking up the tube or just trying to get me to let their mistake slide.

    For all I know Ruby might work great in, for example, a Fender. If that's the case, I might try them next time I need to re-tube a Fender. But if the guy is truly blowin' sunshine up my ass, well...... I'd like to know that too.
     
  8. Wolf Child

    Wolf Child Banned

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    Thanks for the tip. Imma pull em back out after they cool down. :dude:
     
  9. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    I guess the first question I would have for myself...do you do much bussiness with this tech...do you trust his opinos based on a positive past...

    also, have you called around, or checked with another tech or other reliable sources...

    it just seems suspecios that he would try to convince you to keep them...

    finding a relable, good, and priced right tech is hard but, from what you said I would continue looking for a better one....(of course I do not know all the details)

    I am not sure about the quality of ruby tubes so I can not comment on that but, why did he not talk to you about that up front.....
     
  10. Wolf Child

    Wolf Child Banned

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    EXACTLY :thumb:
     
  11. coldsteal2

    coldsteal2 V.I.P. Member

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    Ruby Tubes is just a distributor, they use all the
    brands, I ordered some Ruby Tubes a few years ago
    and when i got them they were all JJ's
     
  12. BOBBO

    BOBBO Banned

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    You never know what your gonna get when you buy RUBY tubes !!! Way back when I bought some RUBY EL34's and they were actually vintage Siemens !!!!!!! :wow::thumb:
     
  13. coldsteal2

    coldsteal2 V.I.P. Member

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  14. Wolf Child

    Wolf Child Banned

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    So, they could be anything? :wtf:

    I got to get to the bottom of this.
     
  15. Wolf Child

    Wolf Child Banned

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    Maybe someone could help me out a little here.

    I pulled them out and this is what I found.

    The tubes have RUBY EL84 printed on the tubes and on the sticker. There are no other brands printed.

    But here's what concerns me: One Says EL84G and the other says EL84C. I believe the C is for China and the G is for Great Britain.

    If they are from different places, can they still be a matched set?

    They also have what appears to be match #'s. One says 234 while the other says 215.

    None of this sounds right.
     
  16. drewbertca

    drewbertca V.I.P. Member

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    Tubes are usually tested by the distributor to determine matched sets...from what I can find the extra letters after the tube model are simply there to represent manufacturing location or some sort of spec / tolerance...... I may be wrong - but i do believe they could still have been hand matched......
     
  17. overdriver

    overdriver Banned

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    Well not having dealt with ruby I took a look at their web site and they do list what type they sell to some extent. as for EL84s they sell JJ Tesla,& a EL84 C, and EL84R no EL84G. I think you are right about what the single letter stands for and probalbly placed on the designation by Ruby. The 84C are described as Made in China.The G maybe old stock. About the 215, 235 ratting I could get no infro on, must be a manner in which ruby lumps them together in matched groups, within a range of what they consider close enough to be called matched LOL.

    So IMO have em sent back and get what ya ordered . You could email Ruby and ask them WTF they are! and have them replace them with the JJ telsa they offer. Or get your money back. and try another Vendor my fav.s are Eurotubes and KCA NOS Tubes. Audio tubes for guitar amplifiers and audiophile equipment. 12AX7, 6L6GC, 12ay7, el34, el84, Fender amplifier,5AR4, 5U4GB, cv4004, 6SN7, 8417, 7027, gz34, Mullard, EF86, 6ca7, 6bq5, 7025, 12at7
     
  18. Wolf Child

    Wolf Child Banned

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    Wow! Thank you for your efforts OD.

    I called my amp shop back and told them I just wasn't feeling confident that their Ruby tubes were what I asked for.
    They offered an apology, said they valued my business, said they would fix the problem and have it done in 1 day at no extra charge.

    Not bad.

    But I'm still gonna have them pull the back off my JCM 800 and show me exactly what the did to it before I take it home.

    Thanks guys.
     
  19. overdriver

    overdriver Banned

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  20. dtube

    dtube Senior Member

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    Hi all. Did you also replace the 12AX7 driver tube? If not, get a new (Russian) TungSol 12AX7 in there. Do you know if the amp runs the output section in cathode bias or fixed bias? If they are claiming 18w from a couple EL84's, that would indicate that they are using fixed-bias, meaning that a tech needs to adjust the bias voltage to the output tubes so that they will operate in the correct current range. If the tech doesn't know what he is doing and just plugs tubes into sockets, then there's a good chance that the bias isn't set correctly. "Matched tubes" in a fixed-bias amp still require a tech to set the overall bias voltage based on how your amp runs those tubes. Speaking in very broad terms here: amps with too high of a bias voltage for a given set of tubes will run "cold", resulting in lifeless, sterile tone (again, speaking in very broad terms here). The positive thing in this situation is that the output tubes will last longer. Coversely, that same amp running with the bias voltage set low will run the tubes too hot, greatly shorten their lifespan, and result in mushy, inarticulate tone. Generally speaking, mfg's building tube amps en-masse will set the bias voltage high for reliability reasons.
    -Darren
     

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